Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley tourism industry leaders gathered to honor economist Dr. Kenneth Harwood.

Since 1984, the first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week by the US Travel Association ( and public celebrations are encouraged.

According to SYVHA Executive Director Mary Harris, “Leaders of the four tourism marketing organizations here–SYVHA, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association and Buellton Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau–wanted to do something special to honor Dr. Kenneth Harwood, a retired economist who has provided hundreds of hours of guidance and support to us and the community. We decided to surprise him with a framed certificate in appreciation of his service.”

The plaque states “2013 National Tourism Week Certificate of Recognition in Honor of Dr. Kenneth Harwood for Outstanding Volunteer Contributions to the Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Industry.”

A special certificate of recognition was presented by Linda Johansen (community leader), Executive Directors Tracy Farhad of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, Mary Harris of the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association; Kady Fleckenstein of the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association and Kathy Vreeland of the Buellton Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau to Dr. Harwood for his years of volunteer service to the local hospitality industry.

SYVHA was formed in 2010 and is comprised of 32 member hotels in the communities of Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Buellton and Ballard to administer funds collected by the Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) promoting overnight stays and economic vitality in the region. Current Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association Board of Directors are President Mike Hendrick (Santa Ynez Valley Marriott; Buellton); Secretary Linda Johansen (Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn, Buellton and King Frederik Inn, Solvang); Treasurer Douglas Ziegler (Santa Ynez Inn, Santa Ynez); Jim Colvin (Hotel Corque, Solvang); Bent Olsen (Solvang Inn & Cottages; Solvang) Jessy Osehan (Hamlet Inn, Solvang) and Christine Forsyth (Ballard Inn & Restaurant, Ballard). For more information about the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association, please contact Executive Director Mary Harris at 805- 325-3528 or or visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.